So what about a constitutional convention? Well, talking about asking the populace if they'd even like to hold a poll about the issue got Manuel Zelaya Rosales thrown out in a coup.
However, the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular has gathered 1.3 million signatures in favor of a holding a constitutional convention. Lets think about that number for a minute. 1.3 million signatures is more people that voted for Porfirio Lobo Sosa in the flawed November 2009 election. Lobo Sosa received 1.2 million votes!
Lobo Sosa's critics have repeated the charge that even talking about a constitutional convention is illegal over the last several days. Juan Ramon Martinez, that bastion of golpismo, was interviewed on Channel 12. It is his belief that "the constitution establishes as a crime all actions that as a result of calling a Constitutional Assembly have a goal of eliminating the "stony" articles and others". Spanish legal scholar Francisco Palacios (and others) demolished this argument more than a year ago. We wrote about that here.
Juan Ramon Martinez was joined in his condemnation by Jorge Illescas, pundit, who alleges that holding a Constitutional Convention violates the Tegucigalpa/San Jose accords. Those accords were violated by Micheletti and have no legal effect at this point. In any event, the language in it only embargoed Zelaya and Micheletti from advocating for a constitutional convention, not successor governments or third parties as is the case here.
Lobo Sosa replied to the reporters question. He said
"What's the problem with this? What's the problem? What I have to do, my moral duty, is to invite the sectors to dialogue; its a topic we have to discuss, its a mandate I have, from my people (country), its my frame of mind to discuss; I like to dialogue with all the sectors and hear them."
Today Lobo Sosa invited the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular and the Resistencia Liberal to meet with him on Monday, October 4, before meeting with a wider audience that includes the churches, the political parties, the Unión Cívica Democrática, and other civil society organizations. The invitation letter to the FNRP says Lobo Sosa wants to know the scope of their proposal for a constitutional convention.
Note that he said he liked to discuss/dialogue. He didn't make any promise to act to convene a convention as a result.
Acting has already been proscribed by his Presidential designate and Presidential Minister, María Antonieta Guillén de Bográn, who said that a Constitutional Convention is not in the vocabulary of this government. She instead noted that this government was committed to the National Plan (Plan de la Nación), a 28 year set of objectives for reforming Honduras.
"In the National Plan this word ("constituyente") does not exist."
She said that Lobo's dialogue proposal is to bring together all civil sectors in a grand national accord through the National Plan. Lobo Sosa echoed this goal in a statement released to the press today:
"I am sure I will have a chance to meet with everyone together and reach a grand accord for the good of the country."
A year ago supporting a constitutional convention could get you arrested; having actually worked for one could result in trumped up political corruption charges from the Public Prosecutor's office. It contributed to a coup in Honduras.
A recent posting on Quotha shows just how odd times are now. Coup supporting media star Wong Arevalo held a poll of his audience on who wanted a constitutional convention. Eighty seven percent (of a statistically unrepresentative sample) said "YES".